Belfast Telegraph

Mint rapped by advertising watchdog

The company putting the world's most expensive gold coin on display has been rapped by advertising watchdogs.

The 1933 Double Eagle coin - designed by a Dublin-born sculptor - will go on show at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The exhibition is organised by Dublin Mint Office, which was warned by the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI) that its adverts could mislead coin collectors.

Tim Banks, director of Dublin Mint Office, said a team of security guards travels with the rare piece after a sister coin sold for 7.59 million US dollars (5.74 million euro) at an auction 10 years ago.

The 1933 Double Eagle coin was designed by Augustus Saint-Gaudens, who was just six months old when his Irish mother and French father emigrated from Dublin to New York in 1838.

Mr Banks said the eminent American sculptor died in 1907 before he saw his design on the coin - which remained in circulation until 1932.

Some 445,500 Double Eagles were minted with the 1933 date but were never released into circulation and most were melted down because of the Great Depression. Only 13 are known of today, with two saved by the US Mint and given to the Smithsonian Institution as a matter of record.

The coin, which is being exhibited across Europe, will go on show alongside a collection of other notable US coins, including the 1907 high relief 20 dollar gold coin, the Capped Bust to Left five dollar gold coin (1807-1812) and the Liberty gold 20 dollar coin (1849-1866).

Separately, Dublin Mint Office defended a complaint lodged with the ASAI over the gold content and size of a commemorative coin for sale on its website.

The customer believed the 24 carat gold half crown coin with an American Gold Eagle motif should be the historical fiscal measurement of 32mm in diameter, as per the Irish and UK half crown prior to decimalisation in 1971. The actual coin had a diameter of 11mm, as set by the issuing treasury.

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